Thursday, January 29, 2009

Maintaining Our Priorities, and Lowering Our Expectations

January is always a good time for reevaluating. I did a lot of that this month, and thought a lot about what is really important to me: what do I really believe.

I discovered that to some degree, I have not been living the things that are truly important to me. Surely, I have been changed, and affected by what I really believe, but I come back again to this question: Do you really believe it if you won't do it?

I have come to the conclusion that if I am ever to carry out my true priorities: what I really desire and believe is important in life: I will have to lower my expectations.

How can I lower my expectations to achieve more?

Well last night Jed and I attended segment three of the Reinhard Bonkke video study "Full Flame". One thing Reinhard said that greatly impressed me was that: we are all zeros, and Jesus is truly One. This means that if we will stand with Him, our zero becomes a ten. If we add another zero, we become 100.

I know we are all faced with our own zero every day, so I've decided to stop thinking about mine, and think about my One. I must make His Word my great and only priority, or the other things I accomplish won't matter. Besides that, I know that I can accomplish nothing without Him!

When He called me I was at the end of my rope: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. My marriage was at the end, my motherhood was in shams. I was at the end of my willingness to live one more day.

Jesus came into my life like a bright light into a dark room, and surprised me with His love and forgiveness. Knowing that I was forgiven changed everything for me.

It still does.

I know that I am nothing without Him, but thank God, I am not without Him! His word changed my life then, how could I go on without it now?

I need to put aside my priorities for my One Priority, and let Him change me to be more like Him. Then the other priorities will fall into place.
("Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is needful.")

A scripture from the Message:

Luke 4:36-37

That set everyone back on their heels, whispering and wondering, "What's going on here? Someone whose words make things happen? Someone who orders demonic spirits to get out and they go?" Jesus was the talk of the town.

That's what impressed me this morning. His words make things happen. Not me, not my effort, not my crying or begging. His word. This is what I need.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hearing From God

Is it possible to really hear from God?

If you did hear Him, what would it sound like?

When I was a little girl in Sunday School, I had the understanding that God had talked to Moses (and Noah, and all the other bible story heroes) in an audible voice, just like I would talk to you if you were here. I used to think: "Wow! If only God would talk to me like that!"

But in that church (which was a good church, and I liked it there) I had never really heard a message on how to be born again. I had never heard that there was a Holy Spirit, and certainly not how to hear His voice.

When I started attending Lydia's church, I heard things I'd NEVER imagined. Lydia and the other ladies at church talked about HEARING FROM GOD, like they actually heard His voice.

This was intriguing. They were not talking about hearing Him, like I had been led to believe that Moses heard Him. This was different.

How would I hear Him, I asked. How would I know it was His voice?

Practice, was the answer.

One of those first nights of hearing Him, was at a prayer meeting. I was willing to hear, I was willing to practice, and as I closed my eyes and "listened", I saw a picture of a girl, and I could see her rib cage. Inside of her rib cage, was a dove. A beautiful white bird, and it was trying to get out! I didn't know what it meant, but I knew that I had "heard" something. This confirmed to me that God wanted to speak to all of His people, and that if we listened, we would surely hear Him.
I began to practice "listening" in my everyday life. I would ask God if He wanted me to go shopping that day or not (or some other daily decision). Then I would hold very still, and strain my ears. Sometimes I would feel a kind of pressure in my ear, as if I was trying to hear something and it was outside of my range (?) and I would think: maybe that is God. He is speaking to me.

I think now (that I've grown a bit, and heard from Him more) that perhaps He was giving me a "sign", or a confirmation like that, because He really did want to speak to me, even though I didn't know how to hear. I was listening to Him as though I would audibly hear Him in my ear, but I didn't understand that God is Spirit- if I heard Him speak, it would be in my spirit.

What does that sound like?

Well, I used to think it sounded a lot like my thoughts. At first, I didn't hear much except for that pressure in my ear, but then as I kept practicing, I would hear more. After awhile, when I would pray or inquire about something, I would sometimes hear the chorus to a song- words that seemed to apply to my situation. Eventually it got to the level where I heard Him speak to me in words. I think this was because I was reading my bible so much. His word had come into my heart, and He was using it to speak to me. (That is not weird or wacky- after all, if He gave us His word, the bible, isn't it what He would say to us, if we gave Him a chance to speak?)

But I did struggle for awhile, confusing the voice of my mind with the voice of His spirit in my spirit. After all, they both took place inside me- they both sounded like me! But one day as I was struggling in confusion over something, and asking God to help me, I heard Him reprimand me: "I am not the voice in your head."

Wow! That really helped me: to examine where the thought was coming from, and what was the motive behind it? After all, there are several voices that a person can hear throughout the course of a day.

There's the voice of the flesh. Generally it says stuff like: "I want more, I hate that, I'm so tired," etc.

There is the voice of the mind. It reasons, and argues and ponders. It's always thinking about something!

There is the voice of the emotions (closely tied to the flesh) and it always tells you how you FEEL.

There is the voice of our enemy, satan. He is deceptive. He hides. He tells you He is God, and that what he has to say is nice, and it would be good for you. Occasionally, he will be overt, and threaten you, if the sneaky stuff didn't work. But the bible tells us he will masqerade as an angel of light. He even used the word of God to try to decieve Jesus. But Jesus (who knew the Word) answered him back with scripture, and did not fall prey to the temptation.

As we get to know God through His word, and also our sincere desire and effort to hear from His Holy Spirit, we will find it easier to hear his voice. It will become "second nature".

Post Script. One of the practices that helped me to blossom in hearing God's voice (and yes, I still NEED to practice: to hear more and better) was a piece of advice from Kenneth Copeland's teachings where he suggested that when you read your bible you should substitute the word LOVE everywhere that it says 'God'. Does that make sense? For example, if you took a verse like John 3:16, you would read it like this: "For LOVE so loved the world that He (Love) gave His one and only Son- that whoever would believe in Him, would not die, but have everlasting life."
1 John tells us that God IS love. If we remember that God loves us; that Love wrote the bible; that Love wants to speak to us; then it will clarify the motive of any voice we hear.
Always compare what you hear with scripture. God's word and His Spirit are one, they will never contradict eachother! God will never say anything to you that contradicts His word, or that isn't based in love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He is Always Worthy

We can thank Him even when we don't feel like it, because He is good. We can thank Him even when things look bad, because He is a God of the Unseen, the Eternal. It takes faith to please Him, and faith calls things that be not as though they were. He is still worthy of praise, no matter how dark our surroundings, because He is Light. Light dispels darkness.

Today Father, I don't want to hide from Your light, I want to enter into it, that Your Son Jesus may be manifested in me, in mortal flesh.

Jesus, Emanuel, Word Made Flesh.

Thankyou for my heated matress pad (a Christmas gift from Jed) which helped my back to loosen enough for me to sleep.

Thankyou that Sam (our Lab/Doberman cross) wasn't hurt when the neighbour hit him on the road.

Thankyou that my children care enough about me to pray for me, and that they believe You enough to know that You will answer.

Thankyou for my old Kenneth Copeland videos, and that faith comes by hearing; and hearing by the Word. Thankyou that faith never gets old.

Thankyou for each child doing their school in their own special spot this morning, thankyou for good books, and a commitment made in fall that we will do this. We will school our own children.

Thankyou that even though I don't feel You now, you are here, I can see what you are doing. So is it with anyone born of the Spirit- just like we don't see wind/ breath/ spirit, we still see what it is doing, and I see you here.

I see You in the program (Extreme Prophetic) we watched on the Miracle Channel last night.

I see You in that Jed (who used to be suspicious) watched the entire program with genuine interest and faith.

I see You in him. My husband- a man whom You are truly changing, maturing, making more like You.

I see You in this blog: a place to thank You on purpose, to write down threads of hope, to catch glimpses of what You are weaving.

Thankyou for the story of Vada Hagee (mother of John Hagee- read in Momma Made the Difference, by T. D. Jakes). Thankyou that I can believe in the same God that she did, and see You do the same things that she saw.

Thankyou for friends, Lord. Images of Who You Are.

Thankyou for a story that is bigger than me. All of this, it is really not about me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

easy breakfast cereal

Easy, Frugal, Healthy, and QUICK!
I like recipes like that!

Breakfast Cereal (Muesli)

Mix in a large bowl:
Approximately 8 or 12 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup organic raisins
This is the base, and then you can add anything else you like, for example:
wheat germ,
dried blueberries,
dried apples,
sliced almonds,
sunflower seeds,

You can use all of these, or only some. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like.
You can make it different every time, if you want!

All you will do is stir it around in the bowl till combined, and then store in an airtight container. This makes quite a bit of cereal (we have four children), and even if cheerios were cheaper (which I haven't penciled out), this is definately healthier, and even my nine year old can make it with no help. Now breakfast will be ready made for the next several days, all you need is some soy milk or something to pour over top. My kids like it cold, just the way it is, with no sweetener. Occasionally we use kefir, or yogurt instead of soymilk.

Choosing Peace

Matthew 12:20-21 (New Living Translation)

20 He will not crush the weakest reed

or put out a flickering candle.

Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

21 And his name will be the hope

of all the world.

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Luke 1:78-79 (New Living Translation)
78 Because of God’s tender mercy,

the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,

79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

and to guide us to the path of peace.”

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 16:33I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 20:21Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

Monday, January 5, 2009

thoughts on motherhood

From Luke 9:48

Whoever recieves this child in my name recieves Me.

He who is least among you all is the one who is great.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Revisiting these thoughts tonight....

I guess it's time for another post on attitude. : )
That's one of the reasons I started this blog, I guess. I needed a place to vent- to pour out all my feelings like puzzle pieces on a table. I needed to examine them, to turn them over a few times, and figure out where they belong.
We just got back from a one week holiday. It was an awesome experience, and of course, it taught me a few things.
One being, that our life is what we make it. I recently listened to a teaching series by Kenneth Copeland called: You Are The Prophet of Your Own Life. That's sort of the idea I've been working over in my mind: if my life is anything, it has to have had something to do with me. After all, wherever I go, there I am. The parts of my life that I cherish, I birthed them- slaved over them, to bring them into being in my life. The parts of my life I detest, I commit them, like a terrible revolving door I cannot stop. My life is what I make it, good or bad. Let the tree be good, and the fruit good.
Does that make sense? When we were on the holiday, I felt like a tightly wound cord that was slowly letting go. Slowly beginning to see that I could trust God with my life, that I could breath again. It was so refreshing to have the daily pressures off of me, even if for a short period of time. And that is what I mean about attitude- I "see" what I've been given by God to do each day as a pressure. Not a gift.
What are the "menial" things that I do in a day- things that society may look down on, but God is asking me to enjoy? Just looking at the last two days since we got back:
Overseeing toilet issues (cleaning toilets, fishing for things flushed down toilets)
Laundry, Laundry, oh how many laundries.
Listening, and more listening: listening to a six year old (without enough teeth) tell me in rapid fashion about things I am having a hard time understanding. Listening to tween music played loudly from a laptop, which can be transported from room to room. (Why aren't these things precious to me? Moments to be treasure in my bottle, gifts that will never pass my way again? It is attitude. My life is the way I see it.)
Dishes, wipe it up again, pop it in the oven, do the dishes again, ad nauseum (I don't know what ad nauseum means, but it seemed to fit here).
Numerous unremarkable chores for my husband who is hunting...
Getting out of bed (need I say more).
Cooking, and yet not finding something to eat (this I find the hardest, because of a list of reasons too long to mention). What I mean is, that having to alter my diet has not been easy, or fun. It has been rewarding, but this is what I mean about attitude. Sometimes it's hard to work all day serving others, and realize that I didn't plan something for my own meal. I'm just being honest here.
And a dozen other insignificant activities... but!
When I serve the least of these, it is Him I am serving.When I do unto others, it is to be as I would have done unto me.
I must be careful how I measure, because the way I mete is the way it is meted to me.
If I give even a cup of cold water, I will certainly not lose my reward.
I know I've said before that if we are to do something, we tend to believe it first. So, if I want to live something, I need to believe it first. What will my attitude be? I need to go to the Word of God and gain a vision for my life. A road map for the turbulent days ahead. Proverbs says that the ways of Wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Lead me in paths of righteousness Lord, for Your own Name's sake.
Jesus said that the eye is the lamp of the body, and that if our eye is good, our whole body will be full of light. I think this means attitude. If I have a positive perspective, my life will be full of joy. But he also said that if the light in us is darkness, how great that darkness. If I store up a negative outlook, it will be oppressive. Attitude. And I choose it. My life is what I make it, I am the prophet of my own life.
And it does apply to health- will I live with an offended, bitter, selfish outlook (and have that manifest in my body), or will I freely give up my life, like Jesus did (and have His resurrection life manifest in my mortal body). He said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds. He said that if I really love my life, I will lose it for Him, and be glad.
Attitude is important in healing, and it makes life much more pleasant on the way. After all, a cheerful heart has a continual feast, and a merry heart doeth good like a medecine.
Tomorrow is another opportunity.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Overcoming Allergies By Faith (previously posted at "journey on to healing")

Overcoming Allergies By Faith
Inspired by a post done by Lady of Virtue, on Large Family Mothering, I have been asking myself: could we also EAT in the simplicity of wisdom.
Her post is on grocery shopping in the simplicity of wisdom (a good read, you should stop by) and how what God has given us is blessed: it is sufficient. And what I am meditating on is: shouldn't that be enough for my health too?
If God has given me wheat, shouldn't I be able to eat it? That's not saying that if rice is the same price, that perhaps it wouldn't be wise to buy some brown rice instead, but if the earth is the Lord's and everything in it, isn't wheat also something that He has freely given me to enjoy? Won't he satisfy me with the finest of wheat?
The things we do, the things we believe, the things we act on, begin somewhere deep down on the inside of us in our faith. If we are going to do something, we tend to believe it first. But what if I am believing the wrong way? What if I am believing in wheat's power to harm me? What if I am believing in it's ability to cause pain, inflammation, or digestive upset?
Well, that's fear. Fear is faith in reverse.
The trouble is, most of us have operated in fear most of our lives without realizing it! Our mothers told us not to eat without washing our hands, or we would get sick. They were well intentioned, but we learned to expect "sick". A seed of 'sick' was sown in our lives. They taught us not to eat too many oreos, or we would get sick. Common sense, for sure, but we came to expect that the food that we ate could bring curse, under certain circumstances.
I'm not saying that there is no consequence for an indulgent, gluttonous diet, there is to be certain, but we were never taught to eat our food in faith by thanking the Lord for it, and blessing it by the speaking of His word. We were never taught to eat our food in love by giving of what we had to someone who had less than we. We were never taught to eat our food in moderation or self control (or even self sacrifice): we were taught to clean our plates because there were starving children in China.
We were "taught" that we should live for food. A most important part of a family get together was the chocolate cake, or what you would find in the bottom of your stocking. Food sometimes became a substitute for love.
But what if it didn't have to be that way?
There is a lot on the internet these days about how we should eat organic, unprocessed, naturally fermented, sprouted and soaked, and sourdough, fresh, raw, green something or other. And these ideas are true, and very good. But do these ideas feed the fearful heart? Can I honestly eat my inorganic romaine lettuce (in the knowledge that its irrigation water has been contaminated by rocket fuel) in faith? What if I can't afford the lettuce that is three times as much, or if my conscience won't allow me to? Will I take my 79 cent lettuce home and eat it in discouragement, and hold at the back of my mind the expectation of developing cancer at a later date because of what I am eating?
NO!!! My spirit is so fed up with this bondage! It is time for the children of God to be free, to eat anything sold in the market without question for conscience sake! To go into all the world and lay hands on the sick and see them recover! They could never do that if they had developed cancer from contaminated lettuce; and if you read Matthew 15:18, you'll see that if the believer was to even drink poison, it cannot harm him!
God is not just asking for our common sense here, but more than that. He is asking us to believe and act on His Word. How could the Christian go into all the world and preach the gospel if he was dependant on uncontaminated food? There was a time many years ago when Africa was called the white man's grave, because so many missionaries died the first year they arrived. They would contract malaria, or some other terrible fever and nearly always succumb. God's intention was for them to go and bring the gospel: the word of salvation and healing! Not just to die upon arrival! Is there ANYTHING that by merely going into our mouths should be able to bring death, curse, or disease?
He made his church to be healers, not to be the sick, the dying. We are CHRISTians, little saviors.
How do I live this out? How do I eat if I believe that I can eat anything without getting sick, I can go anywhere without getting sick, and yet my life doesn't look like it? My body doesn't feel like it?
I guess I practice, and I build my faith in what God has said. Remember, if we are want to do it, we can start by believing it first. After all, it worked in reverse-- when I realized that milk products were causing me pain, swelling, diarrhea and sleeplessness, I believed that and acted on it. I stopped drinking milk. If I want to reverse that, I will need to believe in God's powerful blessing on me, more than I believe in milk's power to harm me. After all, all food on earth is imperfect, and contaminated, and yet Jesus called it clean. All food on earth is contaminated by acid rain, by windfall herbicides, by genetic modification and loss of heirloom seeds and varieties. Even if it were not so in some cases, this would mean that only the very rich on earth could expect to receive health from God. If my entire healing were dependent on what I ate, I would have to have money for supplements, special internet orders, and foods that must be shipped to my country by airplane. This in not what is available for most of the planet. BUT, why couldn't I look at what I do have, I mean what is in my pantry right now, and acknowledge that this is food. If it is food, then God Almighty has provided it, and I can eat it.
As I said- practice, practice. Stretch my faith out there, and make sure that the food I do eat, I eat in faith. I bless it, believe it is from God, and believe that it is good. Then wait for the symptoms to line up with what I believe.
If this strikes a chord with you, please feel free to leave a comment. : )